This whole process could have been handled in a much more productive way concerning communication and the pace of the rollout. In short, the implantation of the new guidelines was hastily and poorly handled. The state of Kentucky was the first to sign an executive order on June 24th to allow name, image, and likeness compensation for student-athletes (only a week before it was to go into effect on July 1st), and rumblings of the possibility of it happening so quickly didn't arise until early June. While there were six states beforehand that had signed their own legislation that was then later signed by their respective governors, many people were under the impression that it was going to take more time than July 1st for it to go into effect nationwide, let alone for universities to prepare and implement guidelines and frameworks to get the student-athletes ready for what was to come. A lot of us felt blindsided by this ruling and were, in a sense, thrown into the fire on very short notice.
The hasty process led to some student-athletes jumping at any opportunity they could get to grab a quick buck. This is natural considering that the vast majority of us were/are pretty much broke college students like the rest of the kids on our campus, and we never had the opportunity to make quick cash like this before.
It comes at a cost, though. If you sign a dozen $100 deals with certain brands to promote your product, it floods your social media with content that deteriorates the authenticity of what they have built. In a sense, the money they could be earning could negatively impact them financially due to the 'turnoff' it creates with their followers. Getting free stuff and some quick cash here and there from some companies isn't necessarily a bad thing. Still, there needs to be some thought into what doing a small deal with a company could mean for future opportunities with other bigger, more marketable brands.
This goes back to the lack of time and support most student-athletes had before everything went down starting July 1st. There must be some sort of program that student-athletes go through, potentially part of their curriculum with the school, that allows them to understand better how to use their respective brands effectively (no matter what NIL value they have) so they do not get screwed over and used as puppets by larger corporations.
Every student-athlete should see themself as a company and that each company they make a deal with is a potential investor. If this investor believes in the potential of this player to eventually make it big, they should buy into them at a larger level than just a $100 paid post. As a student-athlete, you shouldn't allow these companies to sign a deal with you and ride you to the top without putting in that initial stake.